Galio Build Guide

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Galio: an in depth guide on how to be effective

written by mrflib

Galio Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    WARNING! This guide is long. Hopefully it will become more comprehensive as I add to it over time.

    I have always hated the word dynamic, but it is one that fits Galio perfectly. Need a tank? No problem. Incredible burst DPS? A breeze. An AOE taunt that will allow your team to decimate the enemy? Sure, thanks! Galio takes a couple of games to get used to, but as soon as you do you will enjoy every minute you play him. He is one of the few champs that really excels on both Summoners Rift and Twisted Treeline, so if you master him you'll have a champ for life.

    I wish to emphasise that the below is the way I choose to play Galio. This is by no means the only way, or indeed the best way. What I can say is that I have had the most success when following the steps provided.

    I always welcome opinion and constructive criticism, and I am keen to add to this guide with ideas you may have that haven't even crossed my mind.

    If you like this guide, please rate it. If you think it's trash and give it the Thumbs Down - please let me know why by leaving a comment! Thanks!

    Note: As of patch .103 Galio has been nerfed. The good news is that a lot of the items that I suggest have been buffed, so that does counteract the nerf slightly. However, if you thought you might be able to skip a Chalice - it's even less likely now due to the increased mana costs. Especially if you are mid.

    His Ultimate has suffered quite a bit. The nerf in duration to 2 seconds now means that anyone with Merc Treads is only taunted (nay, snared!!) for just 1.3 seconds - I think. That's not so good as most people run mercs :(. You now need to really make sure you have more than 1 person in your ult.

  • Scoreboards

    A couple of images showing the effectiveness of this guide. Top game we won, bottom game we lost. Both games full tank build.

    External Image

    (Yi is top row on graph)
    External Image

    [External Image

  • Updates

    26th October 2010: Five videos added, update on Chalice vs Tear, info on 1 v 2
    22nd October 2010: Scoreboards added, small info on Galio nerf.
    13th October 2010: Guide first published

  • In the Pipline

    - Many Videos (new PC on order)
    - A 1 vs 2 lane guide
    - Team mate section
    - Twisted Treeline guide
    - AOE Ult combos with other champs

  • Quick Reference

    For those with no time, or more likely, no patience, here is a quick reference guide which will be useful to you when you have read through the guide in its entirity. Please note that you should not just take the items below as gospel, you will need to change them to suit your game. This is obviously explained in far more detail later.




    Summoner Spells:

    and / / [spell_icon=Fortify] /

    Generic Item Set

    I highly recommend viewing the item choice section.

    Chalice of Harmony or Tear of the Goddess
    Mercury's Treads
    Abyssal Scepter
    Warmog's Armor (choice for extreme tankyness)
    Randuin's Omen (choice for less tank but more utility)
    Banshee's Veil (choice for more MR and brilliant passive)

    Starting Items

    [item_text=Meki Pendant]
    Health Potion x 2

    You will need to decide which order the last 4 items are built. If you need to be more tanky, then choose Banshee's Veil, Randuin's Omen or Warmog's Armor first. Thornmail and Abyssal Scepter both synergise with your ult to make it hit harder. If you have decided to go for more ult damage first, it may be wise to level Bulwark [W] in place of one of your two damaging spells.

    Skill Order

    R > E > Q > W

    Put a point in Bulwark before level 6.

  • What is Galio?

    Galio is many things, but one thing he is not is a DPS carry. He does not have the sustained DPS to win a one on one where his burst is not enough to kill quickly. Time for the superlatives:

    Galio is:
    - A solid solo mid
    - A great lane mate
    - An excellent farmer
    - A primarily skill shot based champ
    - A huge burst champ
    - A fantastic tank
    - An immense lane pusher
    - A top initiator
    - An exceedingly long ranged poker
    - A stupendous 1 v 2 laner

    Galio is not:
    - Sustained DPS
    - Noob friendly
    - A tower basher
    - Fast
    - For girls

    First and foremost, you should build Galio as a tank. But compared to many other tanks his damage output is quite significant. AP Galio is quite viable, but only if you have other DPS and tanks on the team. More on that little puppy later.

  • Galio Base Stats

    Damage 56.3 (+3.375 / per level)
    Health 410 (+85 / per level)
    Mana 235 (+50 / per level)
    Move Speed 310
    Armor 13 (+4 / per level)
    Magic Resist 30 (+0 / per level)
    Health Regen 1.49 (+0.15 / per level)
    Mana Regen 0.9 (+0.1 / per level)

  • Masteries + Runes

    Galio can be built in a number of ways - with mana regen, HP per level, pure AP or MR. After much experimentation I have come to the conclusion that a mix of Magic Penetration, MR and flat HP gives the best rounded runebook. His mana issues can be solved in the early game by the purchase of a Chalice of Harmony.

    Magic Penetration is hard to come by. There are so few items which give it, so it's imperative to have some given to you through runes and masteries. For this reason, we take the Offensive tree down to 9 (or 10 if you use Ignite) and grab Archaic Knowledge for the 15% spell penetration. You also want to max you AP per level with Archmages Savvy.

    In the utility tree I recommend taking everything to do with mana, movement speed, cooldown reduction and the upgrade to Flash. If you use Teleport then feel free to upgrade that here too.

    For my full masteries click here.

    For runes, it's always a matter of preference. I personally really like the 100 or so HP the flat health Quints provide in the early game, and they partly offset the lack of a Dorans item in my early build.

    In addition to the Magic Penetration marks I go for full MR per level Seals and Glyphs. This equates to 40MR at level 18 - that's more than a Guardian Angel provides. Remember, this also nets you another 20AP thanks to Galio's Runic Skin Passive.

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    Greater Mark of Insight
    Greater Seal of Shielding
    Greater Glyph of Shielding

    Full rune stats read:

    Health +97
    Magic Pen +8.5
    Magic Reist @ 18 +40

  • Abilities

    Runic Skin
    Galio converts 50% of his total Magic Resistance into Ability Power.

    In my view this is one of the most useful passives in the game. Rammus has a similar Armour to Attack Damage passive, but Rammus auto-attacks suck balls. This is vastly superior. Runic Skin permits you to build yourself as a tank without gimping your damage output - for example an Abyssal Scepter will give Galio nearly 100AP rather than the usual 70 thanks to its +57 Magic Resist.

    Resolute Smite
    Galio fires a concussive blast from his eyes, dealing magic damage near the impact location and reducing enemy movement speed .

    Damage: 60 / 115 / 170 / 225 / 280 (+0.6)
    Slow %: 24 / 28 / 32 / 36 / 40 % for 2.5 seconds
    Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 Mana
    Cooldown: 12 seconds
    Range: 900

    This is the first of Galio's skill shots and is a reasonable nuke with a built in slow. It makes up 50% of the Galio Q-E combo. The main drawback is the slow flight speed of the particle. At longer ranges it is possible to dodge so you must learn to lead your target. Aim where they are going to be, not where they are right now.

    The AP ratio is on the low side at 0.6, but it is by no means a useless skill. The cool down is low, and the mana cost is very reasonable.

    I recommend you skill this second.

    Galio shields a friendly champion for 4 seconds, increasing their Armor and Magic Resistance. Each time that unit suffers damage, Galio is healed.

    Armour and Magic increase: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90
    Heal per hit: 20 / 32 / 44 / 56 / 68 (+0.3). -20% healing for each consecutive hit.
    Cost: 60 / 60 / 60 / 60 / 60 Mana
    Cooldown: 8 seconds
    Range: 800

    Now this is a sexy little spell, but don't be fooled, it will not save that Master Rambo who is so determined to get killz that dying is not an issue. It will make your allies tougher but by no means immortal. Compared to Rammus' Defensive Ball Curl, the buff is not quite as strong. To compensate, Galio is less of a selfish bastard and can buff his allies instead of just himself. There are many uses for Bulwark; here are a few.

    Protect an over-extended ally
    The heal aspect is not to be relied upon too much early game; the diminishing returns do take quite a chunk out of its power. However, dropping this on Master Rambo will net you some HP back and may just give him the survivability he clearly needs. It's especially good if someone with fast Attack Speed is attacking your Bulwark target. Bear in mind that an AP built Galio will see a significant heal from applying this.

    Minion's can heal you...
    A great way to heal early game is to get minion aggro and self-cast Bulwark. You'll get a tidy heal for 60 mana. If you are too low HP for this - get your lane mate to do it. Cast it on them and instruct them to get minion aggro.

    Give yourself an AP boost
    When you are about to engage in a fight, it's good to put Bulwark on yourself. Your team mates wont need it at this stage and the MR buff will infact give you more AP. At level 5 that is akin to a 45 AP boost for a few seconds. Bulwark then Q-E Combo, rinse, repeat.

    Make you ridiculously hard to kill during your ultimate
    The real use of this skill is in its synergy with your ultimate. When you self-cast Bulwark and then Ult, Galio gets a bit of a hard on. The ult reduces incoming damage, Bulwark heals you for each hit and also reduces damage, and then you explode. Suck my Demacian balls, Rammus.

    Protect yourself, or an ally, from Karthus
    Remember, whenever you see Karthus use his highly-skilled pro ultimate kill button (Requiem), Bulwark up to ride the damage and heal a little back. If you have lots of HP, put it on an ally because you should have reasonable Magic Resist.

    If you're struggling in lane and maxing Bulwark early game, then only level one of your two damaging spells. I usually get 1 level of this at level 7 and then max it last.

    Righteous Gust
    Galio unleashes a gust of concussive wind that deals magic damage to all enemies in its path. A directional draft remains for 5 seconds, increasing the speed of allies.

    Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.8)
    Speed Bonus: 20 / 24 / 32 / 36 %
    Cost: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 Mana
    Cooldown: 13 seconds
    Range: 1000

    Fear my Righteous Gust. A very fast moving whirlwind that is hard to dodge. Significant range, a speed buff, a solid 0.8 AP ratio and the fact it can go through multiple champions make this spell spunk-tastic. The second part of your Q-E combo; it has a medium mana cost and should be your primary harrassing and farming skill. There are so many uses for this I can't list them all.

    Hit champions hiding behind their tower
    The range on this spell is huge - you can easily cast it and hit champs that are acting like tarts and hiding behind their tower. You can cast it witin tower aggro range, and run back before the spell hits. This way you'll avoid the tower switching targets from minions to you.

    Farm jungle creeps without leaving lane
    The range can also be used to go through walls. For example, the Wraith creep camps can be taken out from mid lane. There is no need to go in to the jungle - both Resolute Smite and Rightous Gust will reach across the wall and net you all four kills without leaving lane.

    Farm like a farmer
    By the time this is level 3 you will be able to take out the ranged creeps in conjunction with Resolute Smite. By spell level 5 you can wipe out whole creep waves instantly. It's very likely you will have the most creep kills by the end of the game. Do not try to farm full HP creeps using your Q-E combo until one spell is at least level 3. By all means finish off a bunch of low HP creeps, but early on it is very mana intensive and largely ineffective.

    Help your lane mate to farm
    This is a key point you must be aware of. Galio is an epic farmer, and this can come at the expense of his lane mate. Make it a point to use just Resolute Smite or a lower-level Righteous Gust to lower the HP of all creeps to last hit level. Your lane mate will thank you massively. For this reason, champs that suck at farming such as AP Poppy are very good lane mates for you.

    Get out of Dodge
    Righteous Gust is also a great escape tool, especially used in conjunction with your Resolute Smite. If it's clear a fight is going tits up, then it's time to make a quick getaway. After typing the customary "b, now!!!" in chat fire off a Resolute Smite to slow your pro 2000-elo enemies. Once slowed, fire off a Righteous Gust in the direction you need to run and you and your team mates can all run through its wake with a significant speed boost. Repeat as is necessary.

    Quick out of the blocks
    You can use gust as a fail version of the Rammus Powerball from your fountain - cast it and run off while you mana is instantly regened. That will get you to lane about 0.8 seconds faster. Epic. This can actually be quite useful on Twisted Treeline where getting to position quickly can be a bonus.

    Max this skill first (with exception to your Ult).

    Idol of Durand
    Galio channels for 2.5 seconds, taunting nearby foes and blocking 30% of incoming damage.
    After channeling, Galio deals magic damage to surrounding enemies, plus an additional 10% damage for each attack suffered while channeling. Max 80% bonus damage.

    Damage: 220 / 330 / 440 (+0.85)
    Cost: 100 / 145 / 190 mana.
    Cooldown: 170 / 150 / 130 seconds.
    Range: 520

    This ultimate, just like its cool-down timer, is plain ridiculous. If there ever was a game changing ultimate in LoL, this is it. No word of overstatement, this ultimate has the power to turn a losing team-fight in to a winning one, or at least a draw. It can be used as an initiation, but is most effective after the fight has been going on for a few seconds and HP is a little lower all round.

    Be warned, this ultimate gives you the ability to be the MVP of the fight, or a complete an utter failure. If you miss this ult, your foe will be rofling all the way to your nexus. This is the reason why you pick Galio - this is your wild card. To help try and avoid nub-dom and be pro, here are some handy rules to follow:

    Rule 1
    Do not use this ultimate if you are clearly going to die. The CD is too long to justify use.

    For example, you've just face checked a bush on 1/3 HP. There happens to be 3 enemy champs in there and you're as good as dead.

    Rule 2
    Position yourself in the most congested area of the fight using Flash. Ensure that the biggest damage dealers are included within its range. It's better, for example, to have both enemy DPS carries taunted instead of the 3 others. Idol of Durand has a very good AP ratio and will do serious damage. Remember, the more you are hit the more damage you will do. This is why the key is getting the enemy DPS in your circle of death.

    Rule 3
    Wait until all stuns have been used, and ideally cleanse is not up. You can be knocked out of the ult, so be careful. You will still do your explosive damage, but the taunt will end.

    Rule 4
    Be very wary of including Blitzcrank, Udyr, Garen or Xin Zhao in your ultimate range. All of these champions can stop your ult from channelling whilst being taunted. From Heat n Serve's 5 minute Galio guide.

    Rule 5
    Self Cast Bulwark on yourself before you use Idol of Durand. It will reduce the damage you take and give you some healing to compensate being bashed about by 5 nabs.

    Rule 6
    Ensure your team know that you are about to use your ultimate. There is nothing worse than you jumping in just as everyone backs out. Literally type in plain English before the fight what you are going to do.

    "Team, during the fight I will ping like a crazy fool just before I am going to use my ulimate. Please target the crap out of those that are taunted and turn on any AOE damage you have in that area. Please don't hate me if I miss the entire enemy team with my ult and instead penta-kill 5 minions. Thx". Or something more basic.

    Rule 7
    If you are taunting one, or maybe two champs only, try to get some minions in your ult. Their attacks on you will also charge its power.

    Rule 8
    Save your Righteous Gust and Resolute Smite for after your Ult. You won't kill everyone who is sucked in, and your AOE slow and nukes will net you countless extra kills and assists.

    Running AP Galio?
    If you're running AP Galio, then you need to approach the use of your ult slightly differently. First of all, ensure that your HP is fairly full. Second, it's the difference between life and death if you forget to put Bulwark on yourself. The heals will be huge as an AP Galio. Finally, do not initiate with Idol of Durand, wait for your tank to do that, then mop up.

    Idol of Durand has lots of great synergies for Galio. For example, with Thornmail, I have killed fed Twitches and Yi's before the ult has fully channelled. Letting them kills themselves is very heart warming. This is one of the reasons it is a core part of the majority of my builds.

    If you are a stat whore who only cares about kills, then you shouldn't really be playing Galio. Bear in mind you are more likely late game to get a Penta-Assist rather than a Penta-Kill with Idol. If the fight is clearly over and you're going to win, however, you can simply move while your ult is channelling to cancel it and do the damage immediately. You can net yourself a few kills doing this, but it's a bit of a waste. The important part is the AOE Taunt rather than the damage.

    Galio Ultimate Fails

    Galio Ultimate Wins

  • Skilling Order

    You should be dynamic in your skill choices - depending on how a game is going you may wish to change the order I suggest here. For example, you are being harrassed quite strongly early game, perhaps put some extra points in Bulwark rather than Resolute Smite. If the game is going well then perhaps you can afford to be more attcking in your choices to keep the pressure on.

    Skill Order when things are going well...

    Skill Order when things are going poorly...

  • Q-E Combo

    A brief explanation of the Q-E combo that you can use for significant harrassing damage. The main point here is to only use it at earlier levels when you're confident you will hit the champ you are aiming at. Missing completely is a mana drain. If your target is moving horizontally to confuzzle you, it may be better to try to hit one spell at a time. Also, in solo mid you can always move towards the river, allowing you a shot across the creep line and forcing your opponent backwards.

    By releasing a Resolute Smite [Q] first, and a Righteous Gust [E] second, both spells will hit the area at roughly the same time. Depending on the level and build of your opponent, this can take anything from 25% to 75% of their HP off in one go. Nothing quite says "F*** OFF" like a well executed Q-E combo. Good use of this tactic allows for Gold and Experience denial.

    If you have mana to burn, the much less catchy W-Q-E combo is a good bet. As explained previously, the MR attained from the Bulwark buff will give you an AP boost making you hit harder.

  • Gold and Experience Denial

    Not just a River in Eygpt, denial is also a key aspect of LoL. Mastering it will gimp the opposing carry and save your lane mates from mid-lane orginated ganks. Putting yourself in line with the enemy ranged creeps and slow-farming (using auto attack to last hit) will do three things:

    1. Stop the minion line moving up to his tower allowing him to last hit
    2. Save your mana
    3. Keep the enemy around their tower and out of range.

    Every time the enemy champ moves forward, unleash a Q-E combo and make them regret it. When a new wave of creeps is about to arrive use Q or E to finish off the minions and start on the new wave. Only push the tower when you have help or you're sure it's safe, because Galio is not a strong tower pusher.

    Be wary of ganks from the river. Remember, you are a filthy rich epic farmer, so buy at least 2 wards and put them in the river bushes. My build requires you to have Flash, so worst case scenario you can avoid gang rape by flashing back towards your tower.

    Mid Lane Ward Placement
    External Image
    Place Yellow Wards always and Red Wards if you have the gold to spare.

    Top Lane Ward Placement
    External Image
    Place Yellow Wards always.
    Big nod to Eagleshadow for doing hi-res game maps available here.

    With wards in place, however, you should be able to save your flash and casually float back. Be sure to send an indignant Rightous Gust in to the River bushes where your ward has revealed the waiting enemy. Your Gust will inform him that he is a noob and should go back to his lane.

    He may well, however, decide to come out and farm a bit of mid. This is great. Not only will he gimp his new lane mate out of even more experience and gold; but Galio excels in a 2 vs 1 lane. Feign fear, even fake a recall, and let them push your creeps to your tower. When they are close enough flash out and use Idol of Durand to taunt them under your tower. As always don't use your Q-E combo before you ult - save it to mop up.

    Video to follow.

  • Early Game

    Starting Items and Lane Choice
    Galio, like a lot of Champs, is at his weakest early game. He has more AP than most thanks to his passive converting some of his built in MR to AP. If you're following my build you should have around 600HP. Your starting items are going to be a [item_text=Meki Pendant] and two Health Potions. If you are taking solo mid, I recommend teleport as your second summoner spell. If a carry needs mid more than you, always defer. Also note that you will suck at getting Dragon. It's much better to let sustained DPS characters take the nearest lane so they can get it whenever possible.

    First Blood
    When you go to your lane I would not suggest going for first blood. This is not something that Galio is good at; his early game damage is not great as he has one spell and that has a 10-13 second cool down depending on CDR runes and masteries. If you get to level 3 or 4 and first blood still hasn't happened then you have every chance of getting it with your Q-E combo and assistance from your lane mate. If your lane mate is adament he wants to try for FB then perhaps skill Resolute Smite first for the slow.

    Early Lane Behavior
    Like most strategies, your very early game is going to be last hitting minions, the very occasional harrass and taking care of your HP. You don't want to be overly aggressive at this stage, but be sure to put out some damage so your opponents know if they push they will pay for it. Where possible try to get both champs with each spell as early on mana may be a bit of an issue. Don't worry if you're struggling to get last hits frequently - you will more than make up for it when you are around level 5 and onwards. By level 9 you will be a farming machine.

    Early Game Items
    Your goal is to stay in lane until you have at least 940 gold, or 500 if you are having a really hard time with mana. Your first trip back you will be purchasing a Chalice of Harmony for 500g and Boots of Speed for 350g. Once you have the Chalice, your mana problems are solved for the entire game. As you can not sustain DPS, your mana will recover as your spells cool down. When you go back for the first time be sure to buy at least one ward. Put it in the river bush to cover you as you're going to be much more attacking now, and forward much more frequently.


    If you do manage to get a kill or assist early on, make sure you go back as soon as you hit 940g. Don't wait any longer, as the Chalice, Boots and Ward are going to allow you to be much more aggressive and hopefully allow you to snowball your lane. Your opposition won't know what's hit them - it'll be a complete personality change when you return. Take advantage of this.

    Hitting 6
    Once you hit 6, your mindset should change completely. Now is the time to look for that double kill. Make sure to communicate with your lane mate and with your solo mid (if you are not the solo mid, of course!). Let the enemy push your lane a little. Perhaps "go missing" in a bush somewhere out of sight. When they are near to your tower, move on up, Flash in and hit Idol of Durand. With luck they will be in your tower range taking hits (use [spell_text=Fortify] if you have it), but if not at least your lane mate should be wailing on them, and hopefully solo mid too.

    It may sound a bit optimistic to look for the double kill rather than one, but because of the power (and the cooldown) of your ult you should look for nothing less. With both enemy champs down you should be using your epic farming skills to push up like no ones business and get some hits on the tower. If mid can stay with you during this all the better.

    Taking Down Their Tower
    I can't tell you how many times I have managed to knock down the tower after ulting. It really is possible with a bit of coordination and team work. Once the tower is down it frees you to do a bit of ganking on mid and the other lane. Keep an eye on your lane and make sure you head back whenever you see a minion blob. Just because you knocked their tower down doesn't mean that you are not responsible for defending yours. Everyone else will be busy.

    Be wary, however, if you are pushing the tower alone you will be there a long time. If you are confident in your ward placement then there is no issue, but Galio is not the greatest tower pusher. As you're hitting the tower use your Q-E combo to kill or lower the HP of oncomming minions. You need your creeps to stay alive to wail on the tower.

    Doing Well?
    If by chance you have had an epic early game and somehow have another 850g or so in your pocket, upgrade your Boots of Speed to Mercury Treads and that is the core of your build complete. Movement and Mana are now taken care of, CC is less of a problem and we've got a nice bit of MR from both the Chalice and the Boots. You'll get 50% of that MR as AP, so you won't be pulling any punches for the forseeable future.

    You should now look something like this...


    This nets you around 100 MR and 70 AP. That's good for a tank.

    Early Game 1 v 2

  • Chalice of Harmony vs. Tear of the Goddess

    I feel a few words are necessary on these two items. Since Galio's nerf I am a firm believer that you will need one of these two items to be effective. While these items are to an extent interchangeable, they both affect you in different ways.

    Chalice is a great item on Galio and really pumps up his early game. It gives you 30 MR (and therefore 15 AP), +7.5 mana regen per 5 and 1% additional regen per 1% of mana missing.

    Tear of the Goddess gives you a flat mana boost of +350 and improves your mana regen by 7 per 5. It also permanently increases your mana pool for every spell you cast.

    So when to use each? Well for me it depends on whether you want early effectiveness or to build for later. In terms of pure regen power the items are very similar until you are low on mana; when Chalice destroys Tear's regen potential. However, Tear constantly increases your mana pool so in my mind they are very similar in potency and should be considered relative equals in this respect.

    So this leaves you with the other stats - 30MR and 15AP is great early on for an offensive tank like Galio and gives you a very strong early game. It allows you to out damage your opponents and take less damage yourself. Tear on the other hand builds for your later game by increasing your mana pool. It allows you the option to upgrade the Tear for around 1800G to an Archangel's Staff which will drastically increase your ability power.

    My rule of thumb - if I'm mainly against Physical DPS champs I will always get Tear. The MR from Chalice won't help, and I'll need to buy AP items because I won't be getting much MR. Also, if I think it's going to be a long game, or that I'm going to roll faces, I get the tear. All other times I go for Chalice.

  • Mid Game

    Keep Farming the Gold
    Galio shines in mid game. Because of his ability to outfarm most other champions, you would hope to be ahead of most on levels and items at this stage of the game. The Wraith Camps are just free gold and XP for you, get them every time they are up with a Q-E combo. If you can grab Golem (blue buff), do so. You will need help to get it in any reasonable time frame early mid game. Cutting your CD on your ultimate is a priority. Magic DPS champs should take preference on the Golem, and you can stake no claim to the Lizard Elder buff.

    Know Your Enemy
    Fairly shortly, the laning phase will run out of steam. Champs will start to clump up and small skirmishes and full blown team fights will become the norm. If you haven't already, take another look at the enemy team composition and decide on your course of action.

    Are they primarily AD based? Then Thornmail is possibly the way to go. Are they a mixture? Which champs are causing the most havoc, magic or physical damage dealers? 7 times out of 10, you will still want to get Thornmail here, because of it's great synergy with your ult. If they are mainly magic, or a fed Kathus is causing grief, then a Banshee's Veil is a fine choice. It gives you great HP, Mana, and Magic Resist - which means extra AP too. Plus the passive protects you from that first stun while you are channelling your ultimate.

    Stats are around 4k effective physical HP, 3k effective magic HP and 70 AP

    Stats are around 3k effective physical HP, 5k effective magic HP and 100 AP

    Remember to include the passives in your decision making.

    Know Your Friends
    Another big consideration is the makup of your team. Is your team very magic orientated or at least are your main damage dealers magic? If so it would be prudent to consider an Abyssal Scepter. It will boost your AP by an astonishing 97, give you a chunk of MR and debuff everyone caught in your ult for -20 MR. The debuff will make both your ult and allies hit harder still. Like Thornmail this is a very cost effective item. All three of these options are absolutely viable. One final consideration is a Haunting Guise. If the enemy are stacking MR against you or your team, a Haunting Guise will help cut through that at this point in the game. It's cheap and it has everything Galio needs.

    Stats are around 2.5k effective physical HP, 4k effective magic HP and 170 AP

    Stalemates and Poking
    The inevitable stalemates will start to emerge. Two teams heading each other off in a lane, no one really wanting to be the first to go in and get owned by 5 angry champs. Well, you have a very long range Righteous Gust which is a great harrassing tool in this situation. Anyone looking too static, Gust them. Just watch out if they have a Kog'Maw - especially if he is AP build. His Bio-Arcane Barrage can out poke everyone.

    Getting the Party Started
    In an ideal world, you do not want to be the one initiating the fight. If you have another tank, such as Rammus, let that brute do it. As soon as the brawl is in motion pick your DPS targets, flash in an hit your ult. Do not forget to Bulwark yourself first. Frankly, if you have a competent team and you manage to get a good Idol of Durand off, it should be gg for the fight and with luck you'll get a tower. If you mess up or your team mess up, you are going to be significantly more usless in the next fight with your ult on cooldown.

    When you are the only Tank
    Often I find I am the only tank class character. I don't know why this is, but I assume it's because most people want to score lots of kills. Either way, as the only tank you are going to have to initiate. Before you do so, make sure you PING the target you want dead most, and that you ensure he is hit by your ultimate. You want the enemy DPS focused down fast. Once you and your team are clear what's going to happen then it's time to get to it.

    Dealing with Crowd Control Spells
    Against a competent team you will face CC issues. Your Mercury's Treads help somewhat here, but there are better solutions. Morgana is a fantastic team mate to have in this situation. Get her Black Shield on you, wait a couple of seconds and then flash in. You won't be CC'd on your way in to initiate and you can get off Bulwark and Idol of Durand with little hassle. The rest of your team can pile in. The reason you wait a couple of seconds after the shield is you want it to be worn off by the time you hit your ult - you need to be hit to do extra damage. Timing is everything.

    The Old Fashioned Way
    No Morgana on your team? Sad face. Never mind. You'll have to initiate the good old fashioned way. Do it from out of sight - from the sides or even better the rear. It takes balls and timing to do it, but you're much less likely to get CC'd in your run up if you don't come from the front.

    Can't get in from the flanks? Well, you'll have to chance the head on. Don't be a wimp - your Bulwark offers some protection and the team is right behind you... with luck!

    If you are the only tank on your team, struggling with CC and you don't have a Morgana, it may be worthwhile investing in a Quicksilver Sash. This gives you a free cleanse every two minutes to get you out of your CC issues.

    This pattern will repeat. Urge your team to get as many Dragon kills as possible in the downtime between fights, and keep up your farming. As you move in to the Late Game the fights will become more frequent and much more dangerous. We need to build Galio up to deal with the increased threat.

  • Late Game

    Knowledge is Power
    When the late game rolls around you are likely to be one of the richer champions on your team. It's your job to make sure Vision Wards are put up on Baron Nashor and Sight Wards in all the usual places. The only issue with this is that you are quite slow, so some help in this department would be appreciated. It is imperative to know where your foe is at all times. Move around in groups, if not the with the whole team. The only exception should be champs backdooring a few towers. You, however, are not a backdoor champion.

    Beef Up
    Your core build will have done you well up to this point, but now the damage will start to become intense. What type of damage is most prevailent? Has a late-game champion come to the fore and causing serious hurt? You need to build to frustrate your opposition. There is no point in following a set build.

    If you took Thornmail Previously
    You may be looking for a bit more MR. It is my opinion that Banshee's Veil is the best MR item in the game for Galio, and is a serious contender for your consideration.

    This build gives you 6.5k effective HP across the board & BV's great passive

    If the damage continues to be mainly physical, then there is no doubt that Warmog's Armor is your best bet. The HP boost from this item will multiply many times in actual effectiveness due to your Armour and MR.

    This build gives you roughly 8k effective physical HP and 6.5k effective magic HP

    If you took Abyssal Scepter Previously
    Then similar choices apply. Do you want to buy passives, or more effective HP?

    This build gives you roughly 5k effective HP across the board, and two great passives that synergise with your ult.

    If the main damage dealers are magic, then you're again best off with a Warmogs.

    This build gives you around 8k effective magic HP and 5k effective physical HP.

    Hopefully you'll end up like this...
    There's every chance you can afford more than one item, but if you have to choose hopefully it gives you a good idea what does what.

    This build gives you around 8k effective HP across the board, great synergy with your ult and a hefty amount of AP.

    Final Items
    It's a case now of filling in the blanks. Whatever items you didn't buy, it's time to get. This is very much the end game now so you won't always get to this point. Feel free to sell your Chalice of Harmony (you most likely won't need it any more) and you can build towards this. Bear in mind it's entirely up to you to change these items - if you need more damage then feel free to sub in an AP item such as [item_text=Zhonya's Ring].

    Tankiness and damage. What else could you ask for?

    This build nets you around 15k effective physical HP, 12.5k effective magic HP and almost 200 AP. Beastly.

    Guardian Angel vs. Randuin's Omen
    I briefly want to touch upon the choice between these two items. Since Guardian Angel's nerf I am convinced that it is not worth considering on Galio. Obviously it gives you a nice mix of Armour and Magic resist, but the passive has lost a huge amount of its punch. Both Randuin's Omen and even Sunfire Cape come with big chunks of HP. When this HP takes armour and magic resist in to account, the Effective HP Randuin's Omen provides is often more than the 750 you get back from being revived from Guardian Angel.

    The active on Randuin's Omen does not synergise with your ultimate, but it is the perfect spell to activate as soon as your ultimate has finished. It will slow all those survivors near you in both attack speed and movement for an incredibly long time. Your team will thank you

    By all means take GA if you like its utility, but I feel there are better options which will benefit your whole team more.

    Defence of the Realm
    A victory in a teamfight at this stage will usually mean at the very least an inhibitor is taken down. This has a huge effect on the remainder of the game as now defence must be a significant part of one teams plans. If you are on the team which has lost the inhibitor then you need to make some key decisions. Galio is not good at defending against super-minions. If your team wants to maintain offensive pressure then you should not be the one left behind to kill the minions, as you will suck at it.

    Frankly, I feel you're better off all defending until your inhibitor respawns, and only attacking if they're going to get Baron.

    Tower Diving Ultimates
    When you are on the front foot you will often see the opposing team hiding behind their tower near their inhibitor. Do not let this deter you. You can use your flash to tower dive straight through the middle and take tower aggro, or move to the side, flash over the wall, and walk in from the flanks. Hit your Bulwark/Idol of Durand combo encompassing as many foe as possible and tank the tower damage - it all counts towards getting your damage bonus. With you tanking the tower your team are free to move in an murder everyone. If you win this fighgt then it should be good game.

    The Ultimate Gank
    A quick tip if you see the opportunity arise late game. With my recommended Summoner Spells of Flash and Teleport you are in a fantastic position to quickly get to Baron if it's under attack. You've probably guessed what to do, but in case you haven't or you're new to the game it goes something like this.

    1. Spot the Enemy attempting to bring down Baron with your ward
    2. Ping Baron so your team mates are aware
    3. Wait as long as you dare for your team to close in on the area
    4. Teleport in to the Ward you placed just outside the enclosure
    5. Flash in to the middle and hit Idol of Durand

    If you timed it perfectly, or more likely there's some kind of miracle, you will get all 5 of the opposing team in your taunt (who should be slightly damaged from the fight) and get a kill or two. You may also be ridiculously lucky and steal the buff. It will create complete chaos - some will target you, some will keep trying to finish off Baron. If your team can show up quickly then it should be an ace which is well worth sacrificing yourself for. Don't forget to hit Bulwark first!

    Do not try this if you have little faith in your team. There's no point trying to be a hero if you won't get the back up to make your potential sacrifice worthwhile.

  • Item Summary

    Galio, as previously mentioned, is a dynamic champion. He excels most when facing a predominantly magic enemy team. The reasons for this are obvious, but it's going to be a rare occurance indeed. Therefore you need to be ready to tailor your item build to combat whatever foes you face on the day. As much as it sucks, if there's little to no magic dps, you're going to need to stack armour. It's not as bad as it seems though - armour stacks quickly and in fact enables you to buy a DPS item or two yourself to make up the shortfall in MR to AP conversion.

    A little bit on Warmog's Armor

    Warmog's Armorin my mind is one of the most underrated items in the game. It is rumoured in the next patch to get a buff (cost coming down to 3,000 gold, HP being more front loaded and less reliant on killing things). I am therefore going to start working this item in to more of my builds. This item fits perfectly on good farmers and those who assist a lot. This is Galio through and through. Once you have your MR or Armour in place and don't need extra DPS; this is the item to go for.

    The opposition are mainly Magical DPS


    I want to suffix this by saying it's a pretty ridiculous build. You need to be 100% sure that there's very little physical DPS floating about (be wary of Hybrids, for example). When maxed out this build will get you an effective magic health of over 14,000 and allow you to pack a [item_text=Rylai's Sceptre] for extra damage, HP and slows. Your AP will be sitting near 290, and your effective physical damage HP will be around 7,500 (still not bad!).

    Remember, once you have a good chunk of MR, getting HP can actually be more effective than stacking even more MR. For example, dropping the Warmog's Armor and getting a [item_text=Force of Nature] (the biggest MR item in the game) actually loses you nearly 2,500 effective magic HP and a similar amount of effective physical HP. What do you gain? 8% movespeed and around 30AP. I know what I would rather have.

    This build makes you practically unkillable to magic for two reasons:

    1. The magic damage done to you will be very small
    2. As soon as they realise that, they'll stop attacking you

    If they continue to attack you - well gg. That's fantastic, you can soak it up and your DPS can absolutely murder them.

    The Opposition are mainly Physical DPS
    Oh noes! What will we do if we can't convert our MR to AP?!1 Fear not - I won't let you down. Galio is an effective armour tank, although we can't rely on our passive to net us massive massive AP like before. This means we're going to have to buy AP like all the other chumps out there.

    We're going to start the game a little differently than before. A Chalice of Harmony is not part of this build. Instead we are going to rush a Tear of the Goddess. Still start with the [item_text=Meki Pendant] and two Health Potions and go about your business in the normal way. This build is going to focus on increasing your mana pool rather than your mana regen (up until the late game, anyway).

    Unlike the magic resist build above, we're going to get a Thornmail as our third item. This gives you lots of extra DPS against a physical DPS team (Twitch, Yi, Warwick etc.). So some of the AP we lost is made up by the opposition effectively shooting/stabbing themselves. We know through Galio's ultimate we can make them attack you, so this is good stuff. You'll look a something like this early mid game.


    Now, as always we have some decisons to make. How is the game going? Is your HP getting ripped to shreds still? In which case, go for Warmog's Armor next. If you think you could use a bit more damage then you have two choices. You could upgrade your Tear of the Goddess to an Archangel's Staff which will also solve any mana issues you may have as well as an AP boost. The alternative, and better choice in my mind is to get an Abyssal Scepter. This will net you a similar amount of AP, but will like Thornmail synergise with your ultimate through its MR debuff.

    Your final item build should look somehing like this:


    You're looking at over 13,000 effective physical HP and nearly 9,000 effective magic hp. Your AP is up there again at around 270.

    You can of course decide to sacrifice your damaging ability and go even more tanky by dropping your Abyssal Scepter and instead going for a Sunfire Cape. This brings your effective physical HP up to nearly 17,000 and you effective magic HP to around 8,000. Your AP drops to around 180 - which gives your Righteous Gust unmodified damage of around 400.


    A quick tip - when it gets to around the 40 minute mark you can usually sell your Chalice with no real bother. Obviously only do this if you need the item slot - so this will only happen in the longest of games.

    The Opposition are Mixed
    I feel I have covered this in enough detail through the Early, Mid and Late game sections. I know I said I hate the word dynamic, and I've used to way too much already, but that's what you have to be in your item choices. Remember to build to counter the main damage dealers - not the whole team. Rammus is going AD - who cares? His DPS is going to be relatively low so don't take him too much in to your equations. None the less here are a couple of builds to choose from.

    NOTE: Remember Chalice of Harmony is your first item. I have assumed this is a long game and SOLD the Chalice - so what you see here is your end game item set. GET CHALICE FIRST!

    Full Tank Build
    This build nets you around 15k effective physical HP, 12.5k effective magic HP and almost 200 AP.

    Offensive Tank Build
    This build nets you around 10.5k effective physical HP, 9.5k effective magic HP and a massive 450 AP!

    AP Galio: Sod the Opposition
    AP Galio is completely viable. Needless to say you are in no way a tank, but you can still function as an extreme burst damage champion. You if you manage to get a good start with this build, you will absolutely terrorise the other team. Remember - Bulwark is your saving grace with this build.

    This build gives you 4.5k effective physical HP, 7k effective magical HP and a staggering 780AP when Mejai's has full stacks. Get an Elixir of Brilliance and you'll do over 800AP

    To give you some idea of the power:

    - Bulwark will heal you for almost 300HP per hit
    - Resolute Smite will hit for around 740 every 6.5 seconds
    - Righteous Gust will hit for 1030 every 10 seconds
    - Idol of Durand will hit for a minimum of 980 in AOE, and a maximum of around 2000.


Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by mrflib

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